George's sitar part on "Norwegian Wood"
— cool though it was — had been little more than a novelty, having nothing really to do with the song itself. In "Love You To", the instrument is absolutely central to the composition, just as his affinity with Eastern thinking was rapidly starting to "wake up" and "grow a little, man".
He also provided the drone-sound of the tamboura here, accompanied by Anil Bhagwat on the tabla drum. Ringo's tambourine was the only Beatle input, having decided against using the McCartney backing vocal which they tried on early takes.
Nevertheless, the overall structure is still more rock 'n' roll than raga, with its bluesy key-changes and licks. There's apparently a little backward guitar thrown in there too (sound of the year!) The lyric, delivered in a double-tracked vocal, similarly reflects a mixture of Hindu philosophy with earthier physical pleasures:A lifetime is so short, a new one can't be bought...
I'll make love to you, if you want me too...
Following the Four's brief stop-over in Delhi after their Japanese gigs and the Philippine fiasco, shortly after Revolver
's release, Harrison was the first Fab to re-visit India, pretty much straight after the Candlestick Park finale. Ravi Shankar began to teach him what the sitar was really all about, combining the classes with yoga exercises and discussions about the mystical aspects of human existence which would remain central to George's beliefs for the rest of his life.
"It was the first feeling I'd ever had of being liberated from being a Beatle or a number," he recalled. He also confessed that a niggling post-acid image of 'the Yogis of the Himalayas' had been part of his motivation to check them out — and that finding them pretty soon removed the need for any further chemically-provoked inspiration.
It may be overstating things to say that he was solely responsible for the whole hippie movement's interest in the East — but if he could persuade his band-mates of its attractions, then our Georgie was certainly not without influence!